Blocked Ears: What Are The Common Causes Earwax Build-up?

Some people suffer from regular build-ups of earwax, which can result in not being able to hear as clearly as they otherwise would. 

Although this can be easily rectified by booking an appointment for microsuction earwax removal, those who suffer might be interested to find out why their ears regularly become blocked in the first place. 

There are many reasons why your body might produce earwax faster than it can remove it or block more easily than others. Here are just a few:


Narrow ear canal

Some people are born with narrow ear canals, which is the tube that goes between the opening of the ear and the eardrum. 

Alternatively, they might have too much hair in their ear canals, which means it is prone to blocking. 



Some injuries result in the body producing too much earwax that it cannot get rid of, or they might cause narrowing of the ear canal.

For the former, it is difficult to clear the earwax at a fast enough rate, while the latter means it is easier for the canal to block. 



Eczema around the scalp or ear often also impacts ear blockages, causing wax to build-up more quickly. 



People with otitis externa, otherwise known as ‘swimmer’s ear’, also suffer from earwax blockages, as it causes inflammation of the external ear canal. 

It occurs due to repeated exposure to water, which is how it got its nickname. Regularly getting water in the ear can cause people to scratch, while the moisture makes for good conditions for bacterial growth. 


Putting things in the ear

Another cause of earwax build-up is frequently putting things in the ear, such as ear plugs or cotton buds. This pushes the wax further into the ear canal, making it harder to escape and blocking up the area.

What does Ear Wax Do?

It’s no secret, we all have ear wax. It’s a perfectly normal substance that’s created by our body and it’s always going to be around. What many don’t understand, however, is the purpose of ear wax, and how important its role actually is.

Ear wax assists in the removal of unwanted debris from the ear. Naturally, throughout our lives, the ear canal will fill with unwanted dirt and hair and the ear wax’s job is to dispose of this. Generally speaking, wax does a great job at this, and you’ll never really notice it whilst it’s at work. Unwanted debris in the ear canal will be taken care of automatically and can be encouraged by little things such as movement from the bottom jaw.

Ear wax also makes for a fantastic protective barrier for the eardrum, which is an extremely important and sensitive part of the human body. Damaging the eardrum can lead to sensorineural hearing loss, which is often not surgically treatable. In short, it’s important to keep our eardrums safe, and ear wax helps us to do this.

On top of all of this, ear wax contains antibacterial properties, which help keep the ear clean and protect it from infection.

We wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s a man’s best friend though. Ear wax is amazing in moderation, but sometimes it can build up excessively – to a point where it’s causing what’s known as an ‘impaction’.

When an impaction happens, you may find that the ear becomes irritated and uncomfortable. It may also be harder to hear and understand people in social situations. When this happens, excess ear wax needs to be removed. A method recommended by professionals is ‘Microsuction’; the removal of excess wax from the ear canal.

Otec Hearing offer Microsuction ear wax removal in the Lincoln & Huddersfield areas. For more information, head over to our Microsuction page, or give us a call on 01522 305400.